3 Jul 2017

How to use a Manual Hydraulic Press | Spectroscopy Guides

This is a brief guide to the basics of using the Specac Manual Hydraulic Press, often used for KBr pellet preparation, XRF sample preparation and FTIR pellet pressing, along with other applications.

Basic guide: How to use a Manual Hydraulic Press

  1. Raise the front safety guard, place the work to be pressed centrally on the lower bolster pressing face and lower the safety guard.

    The safety guard must be kept closed at all times when work (usually a die set) is being pressed. You may need to rotate the pressure release handle clockwise until it has tightened firmly, to close the pumping system before building up pressure. You will be able to calibrate your tonnage limit using this release handle.

  2. Lower top bolster pressing face, by turning the lead screw handle clockwise.

    It is important that you ensure all the components of the work to be pressed have been squeezed tightly together before starting to pump a pressure. However, leave a 1 mm gap between the top of the work and the top bolster pressing surface, to allow for some initial travel of the pressing piston.

  3. Pull and push the pump handle to smoothly build up pressure.

    Once the work inside the press resists the pump pressure, the load will be indicated on the gauge. Continue until the required load is achieved on the gauge. Ensure the safety guard is fully lowered before pumping. The correct leverage and force may be applied by holding the pump handle at its rubber grip.

    It should only take a few strokes to build up pressure in the hydraulic oil of the manual press. There is a maximum piston travel of 25 mm. There is a red ring around the piston showing when the limit has been reached. Do not continue pumping when this red ring shows, otherwise you could cause damage to the press mechanism.

  4. To release the pressure load, turn the pressure release handle anticlockwise by one turn.

    The pressure and applied tonnage load against the work will be held for as long as required. You may observe a slight decrease in the pressure applied, indicated at the load gauge, as the work being pressed relaxes over time. You can bring the pressure back up to the required load if desired, by pulling gently on the pump handle.

  5. Turn the lead screw handle anticlockwise to raise the pressing face, open the front safety guard and remove the work from inside.

    There is no need to turn this handle completely open. Turning this lead screw drops the pressure of oil inside the manual hydraulic press and drains the oil back into the reservoir.


If you want more information on using the Atlas Manual Hydraulic Press for pressing XRF pellets, or any other application, get in touch for a price and demonstration.

If you need to contact Specac regarding a service or repair issue relating to an Atlas™ Manual Hydraulic Press, please be as specific as possible and quote the serial number for the press. Any information about how long the press has been in use and the nature of its application will also be greatly useful to the Technical Support Team: techsupport@specac.co.uk

The Manual Hydraulic Press is one of Specac's most popular and long-serving pieces of sample preparation equipment. Its durability and consistency makes it an analyst's favourite and its ease-of-use provides the perfect opportunity for students and even novices to prepare KBr and XRF pellets for spectroscopic examination. The press works best with Specac's Evacuable Pellet Dies

For more information on the Manual Hydraulic Press: